Wednesday, October 31, 2007

National Adoption Month

I don't pay attention to most "official" months or days to recognize this or that.

But today I had a co-worker tell me November is National Adoption Month. I didn't know there was such a thing, but I wasn't surprised, and was rather pleased. A lot of causes deserve attention, and despite my apparent bias, I'm not afraid to tell you adoption is one of them.

I am, however, a little torn about National Adoption Month. While the mission to raise awareness of the issue has plenty of value, bringing this kind of attention to adoption also seems to contradict the idea that adoption is just another way to form a family, and should not be considered abnormal.

I don't pretend to have a solution to this apparent contradiction, but I just thought it was worth noting. I suppose we can stop having National Adoption Month when all the stereotypes about adoption are done away with.

On another note, when National Adoption Month was brought to my attention, it prompted me to look back on the past year to see how far in the adoption process we've come. A lot has happened in the last year.

With life-changing things like this, time can move slow, and fast at the same time. I know that doesn't make sense reading it, but I think it will make sense for a lot of people.


Sunday, October 28, 2007

Meeting Friends

Hannah and Sam adopted Jesse from Thailand this year, and we've enjoyed following their journey through their blog and some emails (they were the first family we found online). This weekend we had the opportunity to actually meet them and their 2 adorable kids! It was so great to be able to see pictures from their trip to Thailand, and to pick Hannah's brain about the whole experience. She gave us lots of excellent advice (and even gave me a tour of her diaper bag =) ). Seeing their happy family made me pretty excited for our future -it was like proof that our own journey is really happening. It was also just great to meet them - they're as awesome as I'd pictured in my head, and I hope we will cross paths again. =)


Sunday, October 21, 2007

Library Overload

I have been taking a short break from reading adoption books and have started reading books on parenting in general. I assume that once we're home with Critter, we won't have time or energy for reading much of anything, so my chance is now. I leave the library with armloads of books and spend nights flipping through pages, looking for books that are either informational (but not too basic), creative (but realistic) or thought provoking (but not wacko). There are a lot of terrible books out there. My goal is not to read every one, but to identify some keepers. I might save my back if I just spent a day at the library instead of lugging them all home with me in batches. But then I wouldn't be able to drink tea while I peruse...

I have found a few books that I like. (My favorite is the Mother's Almanac that my mom gave me, which she used while raising my sister and I. Thanks, Mom.) Additionally, the more I read, the more I realize that I already have formed my own ideas on how I want to parent, through my own upbringing and the adoption information I've been absorbing. So maybe I don't really need all of these books after all. (All our plans go out the window once we get home anyway, right?) The things I find myself worrying about most are the very simple, nuts and bolts questions like "What exactly do I need to pack in a diaper backpack?" - I've seen moms toting those bulging bags around, so the list must be long. The answer to that is not in any of my books. The ultimate mystery.


Monday, October 8, 2007

Seven Spiritual Gifts of Waiting

Holly Whitcomb is a family friend, and is also a United Church of Christ minister and author of several great books. Her Seven Spiritual Gifts of Waiting has been a wonderful companion to the waiting that Kyle and I have been getting pretty good at lately. It's a quick read, and had a great calming effect on me the first time I read it. When I start to feel frustrated and low on patience, I can pick it up again and read a chapter that helps me feel more at peace. The "Seven Spiritual Gifts" examined in the book are:
  • Patience
  • Loss of Control
  • Living in the Present
  • Compassion
  • Gratitude
  • Humility
  • Trust in God
Perhaps partly because our culture focuses on the "I can do anything I set my mind to" sort of philosophy, when I'm presented with situations out of my control that require me to wait, it can be difficult to accept. I have a feeling that once we get matched to our Critter, Kyle's going to have to remind me to read this book weekly. Thank goodness it's short! =)